American Association of Poison Control Centers Applauds Enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act
June 24, 2016 | Download PDF
ALEXANDRIA, VA – On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law crucial legislation amending the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which is the U.S.’s primary chemicals management law. American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), which represents the Nation’s 55 poison control centers, applauds this action, which received broad bipartisan support.
The law addresses fundamental flaws in TSCA that, for nearly 40 years, limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to protect the public from dangerous chemicals. The new legislation provides the agency with much-needed tools for the evaluation of new and existing chemicals, putting into place a new risk-based safety standard, as well as increases public transparency of chemical information.
“This legislation brings the Toxic Substances Act of 1976 into the modern age,” said Stephen T. Kaminski, JD, AAPCC CEO and Executive Director. “The Act requires the EPA to evaluate new and existing chemicals against a new risk-based safety standard that includes explicit considerations for vulnerable populations, with an eye toward unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.”
Poison Centers receive nearly three million calls annually through the national Poison Help line—800-222-1222—including tens of thousands of calls every year related to exposures to chemicals in the home and workplace. “This legislation is a considerable step forward in the enhancement of chemical safety and public health,” said Kaminski. “Removing major legal barriers will allow the EPA to evaluate chemicals and provide clarity on safety standards, which will further support Poison Centers in their mission to protect the public from dangerous chemicals and substances.”
Even with the Act in place, programming the Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222, into your mobile telephone, and posting it in a visible place in your home and workplace is the best way to be prepared for poisoning emergencies.
For more information, the media may contact Angela Gonzales, AAPCC Associate Manager, Communications and Outreach, at 703-894-1865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAPCC supports the nation’s 55 poison center members in their efforts to treat and prevent drug, consumer product, animal, environmental and food poisoning. Members staff the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 that provides free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year from toxicology specialists, including nurses, pharmacists, physicians and poison information providers. In addition, AAPCC maintains the only poison information and surveillance database in the United States, providing real-time monitoring of unusual poisoning patterns, chemical exposures and other emerging public health hazards. AAPCC partners with federal agencies such as HRSA, CDC, FDA and EPA, as well as private industry.